"Since the end of the 1990s, there is experimental evidence that the total chlorine loading in the stratosphere is decreasing, but this is a slow process," observed Dominique Fonteyn of BIRA-IASB. "Superimposed on this is the meteorological variability which this year still allows sufficient chlorine activation over a large area and for a longer period than last year."
MIPAS will continue to monitor the condition of the ozone layer for the life of the Envisat spacecraft, together with the spacecraft's other atmospheric instruments: Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS) and Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY). KNMI has plans to resume its ozone forecasting service using the latter instrument.
And in 2005 the first of the three-spacecraft MetOp operational meteorology system will be launched into polar orbit. MetOp will include a next-generation ozone-monitoring instrument called GOME-2, intended to guarantee continuity of observation of this vital environmental factor well into the following decade.